Toward the end of October, I called my mom, excited about the arrangements I had just made. “Mom, I just booked a Paint ‘n Take party for Lily!” Mom thought the party, where each child would paint a small ceramic figurine, would be perfect for Lily. Lily is a “crafty” kind of girl.
I was a little worried about this kind of party for five-year-olds. How long would it take them to paint a little figurine? 10 minutes? 2 minutes? I just couldn’t see these little kids painting for a whole hour.
“I’ll come and help you,” Mom said.
“Really?” I replied. “Do you really think you can come?” I was so excited.
“I think so!” she said. The last time Mom had been able to travel to our house was last March, to watch Lily’s first ballet recital. I was so pleased that she felt healthy enough to make the six-hour drive to help with her granddaughter’s birthday party!
The middle of November came. I got the call. The call to come to see my mom.
I canceled Lily’s party. I called parents, telling them Lily’s Grandma was sick.
The party was scheduled for November 21. Barely two days later, Mom died.
I didn’t have the heart to reschedule right away. Lily was amazing. She knew I would reschedule, and never once pestered me about her party. She was unbelievably patient for a five-year-old girl.
And so today is the day. Lily’s party, at last! She could hardly go to sleep last night with the excitement of it all.
As for me, I am crying while I write this post. Crying now, so I don’t cry later. Crying now, so that grief doesn’t strike me down in the middle of my darling daughter’s 5th birthday party. The party she’s been waiting for.